Taking to Tasks
June 10, 2022
Diego Japhar Monroe, Low Entropy Volunteer Writer
What Is a Priority?
Talking about priorities is hard. If you are an employee, every task seems urgent. Your boss is knocking on your door, clamoring for results, and you have to meet a million short deadlines in your tight agenda.
On the other hand, those who aren’t employed still have lots of chores to do every single day, and managing them can be a real struggle, especially if children are involved.
When you pick a task, you’ll start thinking about how to succeed at it. But if you are already managing other tasks and your priorities aren’t clear, you might feel overwhelmed.
This is when you must remember that you’re a human being. Take a deep breath and start a to-do list, based on your priorities. That will make your life easier.
What Is the Best Way to Organize Commitments?
I could advise you to write down all your tasks in a planner, or to schedule them in an online agenda, but I have no idea how your brain works. You have to find out how it responds to each technique and build up your routine from your own pattern of behaviour. If you are a tech-savvy person, then you could try to use online apps or electronic devices. If you are not, you can plan things out on a piece of paper or a planner. Make sure that all your tasks have been noted, so you won’t miss any of them.
Once we have our commitments noted, what are the next steps?
From here, you can start to set some deadlines for the items on your list. Set deadlines that are appropriate to each task. Some tasks are extremely demanding and others are not that hard, so you shouldn’t spend the same amount of time on both. Then, every single day, when you start to work, run your eyes over them, taking a brief look to get your ideas organized so you’ll know how many tasks you can do in one day.
Thinking Step-by-Step and Using the Pomodoro Technique
Everybody knows that New Year’s resolutions are tricky. People set rigorous goals for themselves on January 1st, expecting a complete change in their lives over a short period of time (sometimes less than 24 hours), without the required effort. Some want to lose weight without going on a diet, some want to earn more in their jobs with no improvement in performance, some want to learn a language without practicing consistently. Come on guys, get real! That’s not gonna happen.
You need to change your mindset and take small steps on your journey. Then your chances of success will improve.
If you find little distractions on your way to success or have lots of open-ended work that could take up long periods of time, you should try one of the most powerful weapons against this: the Pomodoro Technique. This method consists of five steps (or “Pomodoros”) to stay focused and mentally fresh:
- Pick a task
- Set a 25-minute timer
- Work on your task until the time is up
- Take a five-minute break, and repeat steps one through four
- Every four Pomodoros, take a longer 15-30 minute break
If a task takes more than four pomodoros, it should be divided into smaller tasks, to ensure that you can complete them. This technique will help you learn how to manage your time with clarity.
Reward Yourself for Completing Tasks
It doesn’t matter if your daily activities will save the whole world, or if they will just make you feel better. Each tiny step forward means a lot in your lifetime. Once you’ve set your schedule, it’s time to get your hands dirty. As you are working through it, you should reward yourself. For example, when you deliver a report to your boss, you now are allowed to buy that book you wanted. Rewards can be the boosts you need to make you feel excited about achieving your daily goals.
Don’t Be a Slave to Your Own Routine
It’s all about self-care. That’s it. Black and white. You can’t take on more tasks than you are able to complete, because if you do that, some important areas of your life will be left aside (family, friends, etc . . .). Make sure that your priorities are clear, like water, in your mind. At the end of the day, you definitely want to be able to lay down on your bed, put your head on your soft pillow and have a restful night.
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